Chapter 15: All Set
Alright, time to start smashing.
I pulled out a handful of the amethyst roses and threw them into a bowl. They needed to crushed into a powder to make the pills used to lustrate with.
Just as my spoon was about to come down Eurval called out.
W-what? I was little surprised by the strength of the voice inside my head.
[Lucid you do no just crush the roses in a bowl, you have to grind them inside specialized tools that can infuse mana into the amethyst roses.]
Tool? Like a tiny syringe?
[No… Something like a mortar and pestle made of mana absorbing and expunging rock.]
Ohh, that makes sense.
Whew, almost destroyed a good chunk of these roses. Good job Eurval.
So, how much for a mortar and pestle 10 scales?
[10…Lets see used online they’re going for 300 or so scales, but there is a massive liquidation at the mall on the ground floor at an alchemist supply store go check there.]
300 scales… well it’s a necessity.
A massive sale you say? I wonder if its because the lack of customers at the moment.
Is it even open right now its one o’clock in the morning.
[Why would it be closed?]
Huh…I stayed silent and left my apartment.
I need to go out more, I grumbled as I pressed the ground floor button on the elevator.
“Ground floor.” The mechanical voice sounded out as it reached my destination.
Everything was still open.
I looked around all the shops had their lights on even the restaurants where mildly filled.
For a city that was more than half evacuated there was a surprising amount of people sitting in the lounging areas eating foods and drinks, laughing with their groups of friends.
I remember reading there were potions, or was it pills, that allowed you to sleep a full nights rest in a couple of minutes, but they’re expensive.
Then again everyone that lives within the walls is usually wealthy. Especially people that lived in the areas close to Laurent Academy, the center of the city.
I made my way past and followed the arrow guides to the alchemist supply store leading me to a shop with a large wooden signboard reading ”Pots“ in black paint.
Just looking from the outside there was giant black cauldron and strings tying dried herbs hanging on the window display. A thin fog also seemed to be seeping out of the dark store. I walked inside.
As my eyes adjusted I was greeted with various pleasant scents. Some floral some citrus-y.
I looked around. The shop was quite small with simple wooden shelves on both sides of the store and a few tables throughout the floor space. On top of each table there where stacked boxes prettily wrapped in brown paper tied with a simple thin bow.
Each table had a single open box to show the herb or ingredient contained inside the others.
On the shelves where various glass vials and flasks filled with glowing and some dark liquids.
The store was empty. I walked to the counter at the back. Not even a single employee.
“Excuse me?” There was no a bell to ring either.
“Yes?” A person appeared standing behind the counter.
I jumped back.
“Pfft.” The girl couldn’t help but let out a chuckle after startling me.
“Sorry. Customer did you need help with something?”
Eurval is this you making a hologram or is this or a real person?
[That is a real person standing in front of you.]
I stared at the girl in front of me she looked young at least a couple years younger than me maybe 12 or 13. Other than the lab coat she donned and the dark blue hair looked normal.
“I heard there was a sale going on for equipment used to make lustrating materials.”
“Oh you saw the ad already,I just put that up earlier, your looking for a ton-stone mortar and pestle?”
“I think so. I need it to grind amethyst roses with.”
“A student a Laurent grinding his own materials with mortar…” She tilted her head and stared at me then shrugged.
“Come. My stupid husband ordered a bunch of mortars and pestles. The kids here would never buy something like that here.”
The kids? I would have said something had she not told me she had a husband.
I followed her into the back where there where rows of shelves lined with inventory. She took me to a shelf in the far left where there was a dozen or so mortars. Above the mortars were white marble looking cubes.
What are those white cubes are they mortars too? They look so fancy versions of the mortar.
[Those are blenders, they’re north of 10,000 scales.]
“Take any of them here for 200 scales, we just want to get rid of them.” The young woman pointed at the shelf with the stone mortars and pestles.
200 scales! New! Nice job Eurval.
I examined them for a moment.
Oh they’re made here in Laurent, huh. I picked the one that felt right with me.
I went to reach for it.
Eh? I tugged on it with one hand.
Holy shit how much does this thing weigh. I used both hands to pick it up.
Thank goodness I was an essence trainer this tiny bowl was easily 300 pounds.
“Kid, your funny your not from here are you? You can just put in your spatial ring.”
My face dropped. I hate it, not knowing the little mannerisms. Instantly, the mortar and pestle disappeared into my ring.
[If a store employee is with you its obvious to the security formation that your not robbing them.]
Well, I know now. Even if Eurval had told me I would have forgotten. Its only through experience that I can really learn a culture.
“Come, I’ll ring you up at the counter.”
I followed the woman? Back outside to the counter.
“It’ll be 200 scales and feel free to take one of the boxes on the tables a gift with a purchase.”
I watched her fingers dance on the clear glass after a final tap a notification popped up in my vision asking to pay.
“Oh a gift? Thank you.” I nodded at the pop up and finished the transaction. I wasn’t going to say no to free stuff.
“No, thank you. Don’t forget to take your gift before you go!” The girl, err the woman gave me a pleasant smile as she faded into thin air.
She definitely wasn’t a spatial mage they don’t really fade they just sort of blink out. I wonder what magic shes using.
There was no use in wondering, as the thought left my head I looked over the tables to choose my gift. Plump mushrooms, dried candied hearts, perfectly red tiny apples.
“Excuse me, what do all of these do?” I looked over to the now empty counter.
“Which one.” A voice rung out from behind me.
She startled me again.
“Ahem, these.” I pointed at the tables.
“Lets see the mushroom helps with earth magic, helps you cast earth based spells faster and have more kick behind them. The hearts help with essence training, just make sure to eat it before you begin, and the apples, hmm.”
She raised an eyebrow and gave me a smirk followed by a wink as she stood besides the apples.
I got what she was trying to say.
“I’ll take the hearts.”
“Tch. Your that type of cadet here. Just like that Runter guy and that Mei girl. You should have more fun while your young kid.”
“Aren’t you young too?” I finally let out, I was curious.
“Only in body~”
“Isn’t that the same thing?”
“You’ll understand one day kid. Take the hearts and for calling me young, hmm, I’ll give you these on the house.” She sent me another wink.
The woman handed me two boxes then disappeared again.
I left the store excited about the hearts these things aren’t cheap. I saw the price tag, each tiny box cost over 500 scales. Just goes to show how much the usual customer drops when they go into the store if they can get this for free.
Back in my apartment I took out the mortar and pestle making sure to summon it on the floor. I don’t think my tables could take such a load over such tiny space.
Now, how do I use it? Just like a normal mortar and pestle?
[Yes, but the skill comes in how evenly you are able to keep the stone filled with mana.]
So there is a chance I could ruin the material… I’ll practice with the clacka roots first.
I pulled out a giant carrot like root and washed it over the sink in the kitchen.
First is clean, then cut, then roast.
I re-read over the instructions are I followed along a video guide on magehub.
I made crude cuts with a steak knife I kept from a meal.I was able to get them diced well enough to begin roasting.
I summoned forth a small breeze levitating the diced roots in a ball of air then turned on the stove top in the kitchen placing the ball above it. I made sure to keep the cut roots constantly moving in as to let them roast evenly.
Slowly as they circulated above the they became shiny and dark.
The video said to stop a minute after it looks like they’re burning. I was a bit scared, but did as the instruction said then removed them from the heat.
Carrying the ball of air and roasted clacka roots I let them gently fall into the mortar.
Finally being free of the ball of air a familiar scent hit my nose.
“Wait this smells like coffee!”
No doubt about it. I moved my nose closer. It was 100% the smell of coffee. Now, I was really motivated to grind it down and steep it. I looked at the mortar.
[You have to evenly charge the mortar with mana.]
Keep the stone filled with mana? I tried to pick up the pestle casually.
“Holy…” The pestle weighed a ton too, at least a hundred pounds for this tiny thing.
I gripped it tightly and picked it up then poured mana into it. I could feel it suck it up like dried sponge once it stopped absorbing I began to grind down the roots.
The sound of a bassy gong filled my apartment in a rhythmic pattern. The smell of coffee also began to fill the apartment.
Controlling my mana had become much easier since Eugene told me to fix my astral body earlier. There were some glitches here and there still, but it was only going to get better in time now.
This looks good. I looked at the ground clacka roots at the bottom of the tiny mortar. I took out a kettle that had come with the camping gear.
Quickly, I filled it with water then turned on the stove to boil. I was tempted to blast the kettle with my own flame to speed it up, but decided against it.
Once boiling I threw in a handful of the ground root and steeped it for a couple of minutes off the heat.
“Now lets taste.”
I poured the dark drink into a mug I had kept from the cafeteria. Then gave it a curious sip.
“Niceeee.” I nodded my head and took a larger sip making sure to cool with a breath.
[You like that drink Lucid?]
“Yes! This is delicious even without cream.” I took another sip.
It was coffee! Though the color a little more blue-black than brown it tasted like coffee. Its seems clacka root tea is the otherworldly child between dandelion coffee and regular coffee on Earth.
“Why is this not sold everywhere? Café au lait, café lattes, iced americanos, espresso?” Someone could make a killing.
It tasted like good quality coffee and it could be found anywhere! I can only imagine if it was prepared by a master roaster with better tools!
[I’m surprised you like it Lucid. There is a big stigma attached to clacka roots since its used to lustrate by the poor. Its mostly used for ceremonial events as an offering to the Goddess within the walls.]
It seems like such a waste to miss out on, it tastes really good, but then again I barely have a handle on the cultural nuances so I won’t say anything more. I’ll enjoy it in private.
I stood up and walked to the couch then turned on the television searching for a live stream above of the Tole Forest. Using the mortar was mana heavy and I needed to recuperate before I tried out grinding the roses.
Ohh it looks like I was right on time.
The stream on the tv showed two people already arguing one a wielding a two-handed greatsword and the other a rapier.
“You, damned brat! Give that here!”
“Give you this? Shut up old man you’ve lost it. I’m the one who killed the spectral lion of course its mine! It almost killed me too when it popped up at me!”
“I was chasing after it! I was going to kill it anyways! I can prove it!”
“Doesn’t matter! I. KILLED. IT.”
Spectral Lion what kind of hyre is that?
[Hyre: Spectral Lion
Threat Level: A
Combat Data: STR: ~53,100, AGI: ~120,000, MGI: ~32900, Mana Cap.: ~32900+ AM
Description: Usually found in forested areas average height 5-7 meters. Most known for its ability to fade in and out of the physical plane for extended periods of time while hunting prey. It’s extreme speed and natural abilities make it difficult to catch and dangerous to fight due to its attacks surprise attacks with its astral body damaging claws that can pass through conventional weapons. Can become invulnerable to purely physical attacks. Weak against, in order of most to least effective: light, darkness, all non-elemental magic, fire, and wind magic.]
What the hell! Such an insane hyre lives in the same forest I was just in.
[You weren’t anywhere near where something like that could have appeared, but there is always a risk.]
I nodded. When I went hiking I never expected to run into a mountain lion a trail, but it could always happen.
The older man shot a giant slash of sword light from his greatsword at the younger guy. Easily, the younger man dodged out of the way.
I heard a giant sound come from outside my window.
Soon after the sound outside, the sword slash hit against the city walls in the slightly delayed stream. Once it dissipated it showed no damage to the wall.
I can see why people wanted to evacuate that was just a casual attack to provoke too…
“Ugh, its not worth my time, humph.”
Seeing the younger man unfazed the older gentleman left the area. He was probably hoping to scare him to giving it up.
They both left to their respective campsites.
I use campsites loosely. Their encampments are majestic. Nothing compared to the little tents I used. Giant estates and gardens were floating in the sky some obviously much nicer than others.
It seemed it would be a slow day after that scuffle. Some arguments popped up here and there, but no fights had broken out. Though, I was sure there would be one by the end of the day. I never knew there was so much bad blood between so many powerful people.
I guess many of them having lived for so long they were bound to offend someone at some point. More surprising to me was that I saw Runter’s mom and dad near Laurent’s encampment. They weren’t grouped with him, but the way many of the flying campsites where organized showed some very obvious factions.
I saw people from Mei’s and Abigail’s families too both very clearly avoiding being anywhere near Laurent.
All these power factions and cliques reminded me of back home. I didn’t mind them they were fun in a way, but in this world…
Especially when each person might literally try to blow you up made me apprehensive to join in.
[Its been an hour~]
Convenient. I turned off the television and went back to my mortar.
Time to make some amethyst rose pills. I made sure to clean the mortar with a strong few concentrated gusts of wind.
I tossed in roses and began grinding away again. However, I was a little more conscious with my mana with this material.
As I continued to grind the surprisingly reluctant to break glass like roses they began to glow.
At the start the powdered portions looked like a plain pastel purple pigment, but now it emanated a soft violet glow.
A sweet scent came up from the mortar like honey and lavender. Calming. Instructions had said to place them in the special pill capsules as soon as possible.
I threw a handful of empty capsules in the air and began to finely control the wind around me picking up the glowing violet powder from the mortar and filling the dozen or so capsules suspended above.
Once filled they softly descended down stacking themselves in a small pile on a clean plate.
Magic…so convenient not a single spec wasted. Even with a manual tool made for this there would have been waste.
I repeated the process a couple more times, maybe if I was better I could do them all at once but one dozen or so was my limit.
How many did I make Eurval? I wiped a little sweat from my forehead. This was hard work. It took two straight hours to grind down all the roses.
[You made enough for the rest of the year at 453 Lucid~]
Nice, it was like an expensive multi-vitamin.
It was a shame I could only make them into pills. If I had any skill in alchemy I could have refined them into 200ish vials of the purple liquid to sell for 10k.
Subtracting a bit less if I sold them wholesale.
I put the pills in foil I had saved from bread sticks that came wrapped with it then put them in my spatial ring leaving just a single one out.
[You cleaned that right Lucid?]
It was clean enough.
I also took out the mana orb I got from the fanged tiger. I was still weirded out about using the mana orb I got from the dead adventurer.
Though the one I got from the adventurer was better quality I was scared it might be haunted.
[Didn’t you already cover that in my book, the soul doesn’t get trapped in the mana body.]
I know, but…
I’m going to try Holy Hunter’s Heart with the tiger’s orb in an hour after I rest a little, block any disturbances Eurval.
[Okay… I still think you should use the other orb though~]
I put the orb in my hand and turned the television back on.
Is this dungeon is ever going to appear? I mused myself while I watched another pair of adventurers fight.
Piece by piece I brought forth Holy Hunter’s Heart’s intricate design, however, instead of placing it on a hyre I summoned it forth under myself.
A couple moments after it appeared, the outer ring of Holy Hunter’s Heart began to rotate like a fan blowing away the space around me replacing it with a world I was familiar with.
My beautiful friend of flame. My manabody.
I opened my eyes in smiles already feeling the warm breeze.
You’ve gotten so big! I watched in glee as giant flame danced. I think it was excited to see me too.
“I’ve brought you something.” I held out the orb in my hand as I floated closer greeted with the comforting heat.
Once I got close the orb charred then collapsed in on itself turning into a molten mess in my hand before being vaporized until nothing was left.
So fast! Alright, that’s all I got, see you in like 15 minutes.
With the orb gone I saw a similar scene except for the space inside my mana body began to disappear replaced back with my apartment.
Holy Hunter’s Heart faded away from under me as the spell completed.
“That was easier than I thought.” My manabody just consumed it like everything else.
Now, time for Ulus’ Tea Time.
With my mind warmed up, casting Ulus’ Tea Time was a cinch. I was a bit surprised by how large the formation was, but it wasn’t very complicated. The spell appeared under me again encompassing the entire living room floor.
I guess it makes sense because I have to cast Laurent’s Circle inside it. Maybe others who use larger lustrating spells need theirs to fit too.
Already familiar for me, Laurent’s Circle appeared within Ulus’ Tea Time. I then summoned forth mana and compressed it as much as I could, as I usually did, within me and popped the violet pill inside my mouth swallowing it.
Let’s pray I didn’t horribly mess up the pill process somewhere and don’t die.
Instantly I could feel the mana I use for Laurent’s Circle infuse with the purple pill swelling into a density well past anything I could compress naturally.
I feel like an over-inflated balloon…
“Oh god I’m gonna blow up.”
The pressure inside me was painful, not making it easy to focus to arrive at my manabody.
Suddenly, the pain began to subside.
Thank goodness, I made it. I opened my eyes. My beautiful flame wiggled in place it size looked the same, but it seemed to have become more solid in appearance. Its colors more vibrant too. I wonder if it had to do with the mana orb.
I was embraced by the flame once more as it took away the overstuffed mana from within me delighted with such a big meal. I saw it shake with happiness as it seemed to have reached a new height.
“You’re so cute!” I couldn’t help but let out seeing it so happy.
As the mana slowly dissipated out of me my eyes became heavy. What a busy day getting beat up on purpose, running into a wall non-stop on purpose, manufacturing drugs inside my apartment. I did a lot..
Feeling satisfied within the soft blanket of flames I was lulled to sleep.